Four startup companies spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been awarded $80,000 in commercialization funds to help them bring their technologies to market.

The Kickstart Commercialization Awards come from Carolina Kickstart, a program of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, or NCTraCS. The awards are designated for UNC startups in the biomedical technologies, pharmaceuticals or other aspects of the life sciences.

The awards are intended to help companies with technology validation as well as product and business development. They can be used to generate preliminary data for a Small Business Innovation Research grant or to develop the business case for the technology. Carolina Kickstart says that In the last four years, $800,000 in awards have been provided to 22 UNC startups that have gone on to receive $10 million in additional outside funding.

The recipients are:

  • Augment Medical. The spinout from the N.C. State University/UNC Biomedical Engineering department is developing PatientLink, a wireless platform to improve the care of disabled patients in the hospital setting. Augment Medical is currently part of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network (BEN) and is a National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Alliance (NCIIA) E-Team Stage 2 company.
  • Meryx Pharmaceuticals. Meryx comes from the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. In partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Meryx is developing a novel therapeutic treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
  • Glycan Therapeutics. The early-stage spinout from the Eshelman School of Pharmacy is developing therapies for thrombosis and tools to aid research in the study of sugar chains or glycobiology.
  • Spirovation. A contract research organization spinout from the UNC School of Medicine, Spirovation was formed in partnership with UNC’s respiratory departments, led by the Cystic Fibrosis / Pulmonary Research & Treatment Center. Spirovation’s goal is to accelerate the discovery and development of effective new therapies for respiratory disease.